Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tribune: Northwestern to start program for CPS students

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In pondering this program, I'm looking at you Harlan Community Academy High School!
Five years ago, Northwestern University's freshman class included just 28 graduates from Chicago Public Schools.

This fall, 75 of the 2,000 freshmen came from the city's high schools, but Northwestern President Morton Schapiro says that's not enough. He hopes a new program to be announced Tuesday will pave the way for more CPS graduates to enroll each year — particularly those from neighborhood high schools.

The Northwestern Academy will target up to 200 CPS freshmen from low-income households who don't attend one of the city's selective enrollment high schools. The goal is to better prepare them for Northwestern or another top college or university by providing year-round tutoring, college counseling, test preparation, family workshops and other services during high school.

The vast majority of the Northwestern students from CPS graduated from one of the city's selective schools, university officials said.

"The feeling was that we hadn't primed the pump (at the other high schools)," Schapiro said. "We are giving them an opportunity. Northwestern will step up and partner with CPS and provide the kind of education they would have gotten if they had gone to Northside (College Prep)," a selective CPS high school.

The Northwestern Academy, in partnership with the city of Chicago, is the latest program designed to encourage qualified Chicago high school graduates to attend selective colleges and universities, particularly students who may not realize they have the academic qualifications for a top school. The University of Chicago, in Hyde Park, also has increased its CPS-specific programs in recent years.

"This is another opportunity for a university to really step up and help us get Chicago Public Schools' students further," said Beth Swanson, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's deputy chief of staff for education.

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